Guwahati Theatre Festival concludes
The second season of G Plus Guwahati Theatre Festival concluded on November 5 with Atul Kumar’s Piya Behrupiya performed by Geetanjali Kulkarni, Mantra Mugdh, Trupti Khamkar, Dhvani Vij, Manasi Multani, Girish Sharma, Dhruv Lohumi, Sourabh Nayyar and Rahul Sharma. The play, a Hindi adaptation of the Bard’s famous comedy, Twelfth Night, is a nautanki musical that has many folk songs performed by the characters with a unique Indian flavour.
Prominent film and theatre personalities like Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Ranveer Shorey and Arundhati Nag featured in five acclaimed world class plays that were staged in the second edition of the Guwahati Theatre Festival, held at Pragjyoti ITA centre at Machkhowa from November 1 to 5.
The festival began with Quasar Thakore Padamsee’s “Mother Courage and Her Children” on November 1, followed by Alyque Padamsee’s “Broken Images” on November 2, “The Gentlemen’s Club aka Tape” by Sheena Khalid, Puja Sarup, Rachel D’souza and Vikram Phukan on November 3, Rajat Kapoor’s “What’s Done is Done” on November 4 and concluded with Atul Kumar’s “Piya Behrupiya.”
Guwahati Theatre Festival managed to create a huge buzz over social media as Guwahatians witnessed some magnificent plays Pragjyoti ITA, Machkhowa. Each of the plays performed during the 5 days has travelled world-wide and has been performed to the biggest of draws in the premier cities of the world. The theatrical festival showcased outstanding performances and provided quality entertainment to theatre lovers. Swayed to the emotions that the thespians portrayed, the Guwahati audience showered immense love to the artists and gave standing ovations at the end of each play.
“Mother Courage and Her Children,” the first play of the season, was loved by all and set the mood right for the next four days. While acclaimed actress Shabana Azmi’s one-character, one-act monologue witnessed a house-full auditorium the audience went gaga over “The Gentlemen’s Club” – a tribute to the golden era of Hindi cinema and its star, Shammi Kapoor. The clowns from Rajat Kapoor’s “What’s Done is Done” drew the audience to the world of Macky B and his Lady and the audience embarked on a two-hour fun roller coaster ride with Atul Kumar’s adaptation of Shakespeare's famous comedy play, “Twelfth Night.”
On the concluding night of the festival, the Life in the Theatre Award 2017 was conferred posthumously on Padma Shri Arun Sarma, one of the most celebrated playwrights of Assam, particularly known for his unconventional plays with elements of drama. The award – a silk shawl and a citation - was received by Late Sharma wife, Arati Sharma and his son, Achintya Sharma.
The festival saw a turnout of over 5,000 people in a span of five days. “It has been highly encouraging to see such a huge turnout each day, making this the landmark theatre event of the city. We are already looking forward and planning for the next edition in 2018 and hope to make it even bigger, better and all-encompassing,” said Sunit Jain, Managing Director & Publisher of G Plus and Festival Chairman.
The Guwahati Theatre Festival also featured two workshops conducted by Quasar Thakore Padamsee, Bhavna Pani, Trupti Khamkar on the first day and by Sheena Khalid and Puja Sarup on the second day. They were attended by over 120 school and college students, theatre enthusiasts and artists.
Highlights & Sidelights
- The handcart wagon that formed the main stage property of Mother Courage was freighted in a lorry all the way from Bangaluru
- On the way to LGBI airport to catch her early morning flight, Shabana Azmi insisted to her cast coordinator that she be taken to a roadside dhaba where she would sip some tea. She got her way
- All in all, 83 artists visited the GTF flying in from Bangaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata to perform
- Vinay Pathak and Rajat Kapoor “disappeared” during lunch time. Apparently, they had found a cosy roadside eatery close to the hotel that served them delicious ethnic cuisine
- Ranvir Shorey brought over his 6-year-old son, Haroon, because it was his turn to look after him, his ex-wife being pre-committed to being at the Dharamsala Film Festival
- Atul Kumar parked himself at the sound and light console of ITA during the staging of Piya Behrupiya while Rajat Kapoor parked himself among the audience during What’s Done is Done
- A 13-member delegation of Young Indians visited from Siliguri to watch What’s Done is Done
- Shabana Azmi’s performance recorded virtually house-full attendance with almost all seats occupied
- Ranvir Shorey’s staple diet in Guwahati was Pork Roast
- The main after-party was held at Vivanta by Taj on Saturday with the cast and crew of What’s Done is Done and Piya Behrupiya in attendance
- Guwahati Theatre Festival
- Shabana Azmi
- Arundhati Nag
- Vinay Pathak
- Ranveer Shorey
- Rajat Kapoor
- Jim Sarbh
- Mantra Mugdh
- Mukti Mohan
- Bhavna Pani
- Mother Courage and her Children
- Broken Images
- The Gentlemen's Club
- Piya Behrupiya
- What's Done is Done